Super Monkey Ball Adventure

Super Monkey Ball Adventure

Reviewing Super Monkey Ball Adventure is a bit like buying the director's cut of a favourite film and realising that the director has nothing useful to add. At times - and I realise that I'm not so much throwing stones in my glasshouse here as putting a gravel driveway through a spin cycle and then kicking the door open - you really do appreciate it when something's enjoyed a good edit.

Monkey Ball's never really been about telling a story - but shoehorned into the traditional narrative structure of a platform game there's no escaping it, and here there's so much redundant waffling, and it's so far beyond saccharine that our teeth rot whenever we pick up the pad. The main thrust of it is that we're on a mission to criss-cross five monkey kingdoms delivering joy - not something with which the rest of the game's destined to be particularly synonymous.

Another thing about directors' cuts, of course, is that you already know precisely what's going to happen. SEGA would like to have us think that a platform game based on Super Monkey Ball is something new and exciting, but it's hard to imagine how it could be any less so - and equally hard to explain the set-up of running around five worlds, each populated with collectible bananas (some, gosh, hidden in crates), and an array of tasks at best loosely related to the old-days fetch-quest, without lapsing into sombre tones. Or SMBA tones, I suppose.

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Super Monkey Ball saves lives

Well, potentially, anyway.

A new study has revealed that surgeons could perform better if they enjoy a quick gaming session before entering the operating theatre.

Super Monkey Ball Adventure

E3: On the ball. And the story. And the mini-games.

Had, a few months ago, we all enjoyed the benefit of foresight, time machines or some other manner of time-bending machinery (perhaps some sort of Casio wristwatch that can go underwater and form a handheld singularity), we might well have compared the news of Traveller's Tales handling Super Monkey Ball Adventure to the appointment of Steve McClaren as England manager: a solid choice, but hardly exciting. Lego Star Wars is their version of Middlesbrough's UEFA Cup quarter-final, really - you never expected it to be so exciting, but it didn't erase the memory of all the other dull things they'd been responsible for.